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China Aviation Sector Lost $12.5 Billion in 2021 on Shut Border

Beijing Daxing International Airport in Beijing, 2021. 

Beijing Daxing International Airport in Beijing, 2021. 

Photographer: Qilai Shen/Bloomberg

China’s aviation industry lost a combined 84.3 billion yuan ($12.5 billion) last year, as the country kept its borders closed to keep out Covid-19. 

A rebound in domestic travel to pre-pandemic levels helped narrow total losses from 97.4 billion yuan in 2020, China’s aviation regulator said Thursday. Sales by airlines and airports rose 22% last year, but that was nowhere near enough to surmount the loss of business from international travel.